the sadistic chef

This week, I received a package from my mother.  For the most part, the package was much appreciated. Best of all, of course, were the pumpkin Reese’s peanut butter cups, a seasonal treat (along with the Christmas Trees, Valentine’s Day Hearts, and Easter Eggs) that I particularly love. My love for Reese’s peanut butter cups is a strange one. While I do love them, even in the US, they mark truly the only hankering I get while abroad. Though, I might add, I haven’t had any hankerings yet. But anyway, in addition to the delicious pumpkin-shaped Reese’s (gone within 24 hours), my mother also sent me a Halloween decoration, Halloween socks, and a Halloween t-shirt, so I can play the classic role of festive teacher. There was, however, one more thing the package contained, and as I laid my eyes on the pumpkin and ghost shaped cookie cutters, I knew I had a mixed blessing on my hand.

Now most people could take those, smile, and put them away, since they have no particular use. Not me, however. I hate to see things wasted, and the fact that my mother sent me the cookie cutters meant I was going to have to bake cookies. And not just some cookies. No, I got it in my head I needed to bake cookies for all my students. Please keep in mind, I have about 220 of them. Sigh.

Since I head down to Munich to see Brittney tomorrow and don’t come back til late Monday night, and with Brittney, I went ahead and did the first half of them tonight. I made the dough this afternoon, before my run.  Matt (the other Fulbright ETA in Erlangen) came over for dinner, and after dinner was finished, I baked the cookies.

Pulling the last batch out of the oven.

Pulling the last batch out of the oven.

Random but related note note: when lacking a rolling pin, a wine bottle makes an excellent make-shift substitute.

At any rate, this last batch was part of a great collection.

I baked a lot of cookies.

I baked a lot of cookies.

Of course, I couldn’t be satisfied with just baking cookies. Next came decorating.  Now, I didn’t take this absurdly seriously, but I needed to make them look nice.

First came the pumpkins:

The pumpkins got green stems as an added touch.

The pumpkins got green stems as an added touch.

Then the ghosts:

The ghosts got chocolate faces as their added touch.

The ghosts got chocolate faces as their added touch.

End product: a lot of cookies:

My cookies have successfully taken over the kitchen.

My cookies have successfully taken over the kitchen.

Sigh. I am hoping the cookies will make a positive contribution to class on Tuesday. Ironically, we are not even really going to be talking about Halloween much, mostly because I can’t think of much to say about it. Germans already know about trick-or-treating, for example. And there’s not that much point to learning vocabulary like “witch,” “ghost,” and “goblin” (though obviously they’re going to learn ghost to get their cookies). No, instead I’m going to make my first foray into British culture by talking about Guy Fawkes Day (heck yes, my 7th and 8th graders will be forced to learn the poem! Remember, remember the Fifth of November…).  But obviously we’ll quickly talk about Halloween at the end of class, when they will get their cookies. And candy corn, courtesy of Brittney.

I really want the kids to like me. So the cookies are really just a slightly veiled attempt at bribery.

I just hope it works.


4 thoughts on “the sadistic chef

  1. I had my mom bring me Halloween candy. I thought my students would love me for bringing candy corn, but they couldn’t have been more uninterested. Driving that was the fact that most of them were Muslims and couldn’t eat anything with gelatin in it.

  2. Are you sure you really want Thanksgiving cookie cutters–they were not easy to find!? I admire your efforts and hope that the children appreciated them! They are adorable and look so festive, but I well know that making 220 is a pretty big job and candy corn can be a bit of an acquired taste….You will have earned your fall break!
    Love, Mom

  3. Mom: Where’s my Halloween package? Will it be coming tomorrow or so?

    Anna: They are so lovely, and I would love you if I were one of your students.


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